The manager of FC Barcelona, Ronald Koeman has stressed that Lionel Messi is the favorite to win the 2021 Ballon d’Or based on his performance in the 2020-2021 season and the just concluded Copa America.
Though Lionel Messi is currently not signed to FC Barcelona as he has been without a club since his contract expired in June, the Dutch tactician went all out to acknowledge how great the Argentine football icon has been.
Koeman described Lionel Messi as the best football star in the world and a player who is used to winning titles. The coach said the fact that Messi won the Copa America earlier this month has made him the favorite for the Ballon d’Or.
Lionel Messi is currently the player with the highest number of Ballon d’Or in the history of football. He has won the prestigious award a record 6-time, one more than his career rival, Cristiano Ronaldo.
The 34-year-old Argentine football icon has been trying to win a major title for Argentina but he could not until in the just concluded Copa America.
In the tournament, Messi scored four goals and provided five assists in 7 games to help Argentina win the title for the first time in his illustrious career.
“Messi is crucial for our game, he’s the captain and an example; Koeman said. “His efficiency last season was huge after a start to the season made complicated by his situation, but once again he showed he was the best player in the world.
“(Winning the Copa America is) hugely important because I know how much he wanted that after so many years without winning with his national team. As the best in the world, he’s used to winning things and in the end, he got what he was fighting for.
“He’s the main candidate for the Ballon d’Or for the great season he had and winning the Copa America. For me, he’s the top favorite to win it.”
Lionel Messi is technically a Barcelona player
Though the contract that exists between Barcelona and Lionel Messi has expired, the 34-year-old football star is still technically a player of the Spanish club.
He recently accepted a pay cut even after his contract with the club expired. The coach of the club, Ronald Koeman said he still needs the football icon in his squad. Also, the club’s president Joan Laporta has been insisting that Messi will remain the player of the club beyond this summer.
Reports in Spain claimed that Barcelona and the representatives of Messi have tidy up all the disputes surrounding the footballer’s contract extension but the club would announce him when the club have tidy up their balance sheet.
All things being equal, the 6 time Ballon d’Or winner is expected to resume at Barcelona before the 2021-2022 season kick-off.
Watch Messi Highlights in 2021 Copa America below:
See Lionel Messi’s record-breaking Instagram post
When Lionel Messi won the Copa America with Argentina, he took to his Instagram page to share a picture showing when he embraced the trophy.
In the caption of the picture, the Argentine football icon wrote: “What a beautiful madness! This is unbelievable! Thank you, God! We are the champions!”
Messi’s Instagram post broke the 19.8 million likes for a sport social media post record which was held by Cristiano Ronaldo. As at last check, Messi’s post has generated a record 20,812,669 likes.